Memo­rial ral­lies af­ter learn­ing coach’s wife put on life sup­port

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Front Page - An­thony Galaviz: 559-441-6042, agalav­iz_TheBee An­thony Galaviz: 559-441-6042, agalav­iz_TheBee BY AN­THONY GALAVIZ [email protected]­nobee.com

A very emo­tional San Joaquin Memo­rial High foot­ball team was think­ing of of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Joseph Pierro in the sec­ond half Fri­day night.

Mac Dalena scored the go-ahead touch­down with 3:23 left and bat­ted down a pass near the end zone with 43 sec­onds left to help thwart a drive as The Bee’s 13th-ranked Pan­thers de­feated No. 7 Clo­vis East 20-17 at La­mon­ica Sta­dium.

At half­time, Pierro re­ceived a phone call that his wife, Taneia, had been placed on life sup­port.

“We had to re­group,” Pan­thers coach An­thony Gos­ton said. “It was a bat­tle all week and we didn’t know what was go­ing on. It was in the back of our head as coaches that was go­ing on. It kind of puts in per­spec­tive what life is about. Foot­ball is great and we won the game, but there were more im­por­tant things. It’s sad for our fam­ily right now. A win is great, but we gotta mourn a lit­tle bit.”

Gos­ton said Taneia Pierro had been hos­pi­tal­ized since Wed­nes­day.

Joseph Pierro, who is in his first sea­son at Memo­rial, had been away from prac­tice to be with his wife but was coach­ing Fri­day night.

Un­til he got the phone call.

De­tails of her ill­ness were not im­me­di­ately known. Memo­rial trailed 14-7 at half­time.

Dalena, who scored two touch­downs, said the team learned about Pierro’s wife’s con­di­tion at half­time. “We came to­gether as a team,” Dalena said. “We did it for her and the fam­ily.”

BULLARD HOLDS OFF CLO­VIS WEST

No. 3 Bullard has won three straight af­ter a 26-13 vic­tory over No. 9 Clo­vis West at McLane Sta­dium on Thurs­day. The Golden Ea­gles dropped to 2-3.

The Knights took the lead for good on a 47-yard touch­down pass from Bryce Weiner to Di­a­zon Allen with 2:46 left in the third quar­ter. Bullard in­creased its lead af­ter a Weiner touch­down pass to DeAn­dre Gree­ley in the fourth quar­ter.

Bullard im­proved to 3-1 un­der co-head coaches Don Arax and Yosef Fares. Af­ter the game, Fares was greeted by his big­gest fan – his young daugh­ter who ran to him on the field with Fares’ wife close by.

The video, taken by Fares’ fa­ther, has been viewed more than 25,000 times on Twit­ter af­ter he posted it Thurs­day night.

DIVI­SION I PLAY­OFF SHUF­FLE

Be­fore league sea­sons com­mence there’s an op­por­tu­nity for Cen­tral Sec­tion teams to make post­sea­son state­ments, es­pe­cially in Divi­sion I.

Bullard’s only loss is to No. 2 Buchanan, and the Knights have beaten No. 4 Clo­vis, so they’re on a good post­sea­son tra­jec­tory.

No. 1 Cen­tral is 5-0 af­ter beat­ing Tur­lock 41-13, but it’s hard to gauge the Griz­zlies: They’re win­ning by an av­er­age score of 44-10 against op­po­nents that are a com­bined 9-15.

Bet­ter gauge: Af­ter a bye, Cen­tral plays Buchanan in the Tri-River opener on Oct. 3.

Lib­erty-Bak­ers­field, which tum­bled two spots to No. 5 af­ter last week’s 19-17 loss to Buchanan, re­bounded with a 43-34 win over Clo­vis.

And No. 20 Clo­vis North reached 5-0 with a 41-27 win over No. 14 Ridgeview.

AN­OTHER SHOT AT DE LA SALLE

Buchanan held De La Salle-Con­cord to just seven points through the fi­nal three quar­ters, in­clud­ing a shutout in the sec­ond half.

But the Bears al­lowed four touch­downs in the first quar­ter alone and lost 35-0 on the road against the peren­nial state pow­er­house.

De La Salle (4-1, with its loss to a Florida team) scored touch­downs on its first four pos­ses­sions, in­clud­ing a 15-yard run and a 45-yard touch­down pass from quar­ter­back Do­rian Hale for the first two TDs.

Buchanan (3-2) lost to De La Salle for the sec­ond straight. Last year, the Bears fell 31-24 in Clo­vis.

EDI­SON GOES OT FOR FIRST WIN

Edi­son picked up its first win of the sea­son, edg­ing No. 25 Din­uba 35-27 in over­time. The Tigers’ Dezjhon Malone, a Fresno State com­mit, scored in the sec­ond ex­tra pe­riod and Tre Martin ended the game with an in­ter­cep­tion.

The Tigers had got­ten off to an 0-4 start af­ter play­ing teams that were all ranked in The Bee’s Top 25, los­ing to the likes of No. 1 Cen­tral, No. 9 Clo­vis West, No. 2 Buchanan and No. 20 Clo­vis North.

AN­THONY GALAVIZ [email protected]­nobee.com

San Joaquin Memo­rial High play­ers and coaches come to­gether to pray for Taneia Pierro, wife of of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Joseph Pierro. The Pan­thers learned at half­time that Taneia Pierra had been placed on life sup­port.

ERIC PAUL ZAMORA [email protected]­nobee.com

Edi­son’s Tre Martin makes the in­ter­cep­tion as a Din­uba coach crouches in dismay.

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